Guide for Reviewing Image Descriptions
This guide shares a short checklist of items to review when reading or editing image descriptions. Whether you wrote them yourself, or someone else wrote them, this guide will help ensure the quality of descriptions.
Digital Marketing, Ebook Production, Image Descriptions, Website Accessibility
Checklist, Standards and Best Practices
Before reading this, you might want to read:
Reviewing Image Descriptions
Once image descriptions have been written for your ebook, it’s important to review them to ensure completion, accuracy, and appropriateness. Image descriptions should ideally be edited alongside other content of the book – this will help ensure consistency of voice and style.
When reviewing image descriptions that either you or someone else wrote, ask yourself these questions:
- Are all non-decorative images described, including logos and the cover page?
- Are the descriptions written with a clear structure, beginning with a broad overview, then sharing more specific details?
- Do the descriptions fit their context?
- Are the descriptions written for the book’s audience?
- Are the descriptions clear and concise?
- Are the descriptions written in present tense?
- Are the descriptions objective?
- Are the descriptions uncensored?
- Is text within the images written out?
- Is the spelling and grammar correct?
If you can answer yes to all of these questions, your image descriptions are likely excellent!
Download the Checklist
Download a PDF checklist you can use to review image descriptions.
Check out Next Steps for more information.
Writing Descriptions for Digital Media
Introduction to Writing Alt-text for Digital Media (other than ebooks)
Images used on websites, social media, and other non-book content need image descriptions. The writing guidelines are mostly the same, but there are a few additional things to consider. This Introduction document looks at these,…
Subject(s): Digital Marketing, Image Descriptions
Resource Type(s): Checklist
Writing Descriptions for Complex Content
Introduction to Writing Descriptions for Complex Content
This resource introduces the concept of long/extended descriptions, and provides a general discussion of how to approach and develop them.
Subject(s): Image Descriptions
Resource Type(s): Standards and Best Practices
External Links to More Information
Guide to Image Descriptions
A thorough introduction to image descriptions; it discusses: the importance of image descriptions, workflow considerations, and terminology; it also provides some technical guidance and code samples, and of course provides detailed image description guidelines, with examples!
Poet Image Description Tool
Developed by The DIAGRAM Center, the Poet image description tool is an open-source, web-based tool for creating and providing guidelines to writing image descriptions for images in existing books. Some people may find it a useful tool!
This page from the Diagram Center has several resources about image descriptions: the Poet image description training tool, diagram image description guidelines, a sample book, some archived presentations, description templates for common graphics, and some survey results documenting the value of image descriptions.
Describing Images in Publications
An archived webinar from the DAISY Consortium on June 17, 2020 which gives an overview of image description. It has information about the Poet image description tool from the DIAGRAM center, tips and examples for writing descriptions, some comments on automatically generated descriptions (can identify the category but descriptions are not yet adequate) and some publisher processes for adding them. DAISY webinar archives include the video of the webinar, a written summary, presentation slides, a transcript, and links to further resources.
The Art and Science of Describing Images
An archived webinar from the DAISY Consortium on July 22, 2020 on the topic of image description. It discusses several types of diagram-style images and how to describe them. Most are different types of charts. DAISY webinar archives include the video of the webinar, a written summary, presentation slides, a transcript, and links to further resources.
The Art and Science of Describing Images-Part 2
An archive of a webinar in the series on describing images from the DAISY Consortium given on December 2, 2020. It covers maps, timelines and bar charts. DAISY webinar archives include the video of the webinar, a written summary, presentation slides, a transcript, and links to further resources.
The Art and Science of Describing images-Part 3
An archive of a webinar in the series on describing images from the DAISY Consortium on February 10, 2021. This covers artwork, anatomy and assessment images.
Implementing Extended Descriptions in Digital Publications, Best Practices and Practical Advice
An archived webinar from the DAISY Consortium on February 24, 2020 focusing on image log descriptions. It discusses three approaches for including them: in the text following the image, using a collapsible details element, and linking to a description at the end of the book.
Image Description: Advice From the Front Lines
This post gives approaches by four publishers on how they produce image descriptions. Some do it in house, and others use a vendor or the author. More complex images can benefit from someone with training in image description and knowledge of the subject.
How to Write an Image Description
This article gives ideas for writing image descriptions. It uses an “object-action-context” order to provide details in a logical way. It also includes some more suggestions for when to describe race and gender, and breaking more complex image descriptions into sections.
Content Source Acknowledgement